His Art

Chalk Talks, Cartoon Tracts, Newspaper Columns, Church Bulletins…

Pastor John Willis drew pictures like the one below at as many as 26 different street corners in Chicago, as well as in countries all over the world. Why? Because he found that pictures speak a universal language. “The pictures I drew on the streets of Chicago, I could draw in Far East Asia - Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines islands and so forth.”

He learnt from psychologists that our retention level goes up to 80% when the message enters through our eye gate. In 1995, he told a crowd of young students: “ 30 years ago, we had meetings in the different villages in Malaysia and I had a chalkboard with them too. On the first seat was a nine-year old boy at one of our meetings. This boy is now 40 years old. And he came up to me not quite long ago and said, “I was at your meeting 30 years ago. I remembered what you said and I remembered the picture you drew.” So when you see something that keeps, you never forget it.

Using his God given talent as a chalk artist, he illustrated the wonderful message of the Gospel right up till the ripe old age of 92 when he conducted one of his last lessons on chalk art evangelism on a gospel trip. In his earlier years, he ran his own non for profit tract company that printed professional cartoon tracts, drew Christian art for newspapers, magazines and weekly church bulletins, and displayed much creativity even on pocket calendars and T-shirts.